Written by Guest Blogger: Kristy of Prosecco and Palmtrees
I instantly fell in love with Lake Como when I first visited a decade ago. I recommend it as a must see stop on any tour of northern Italy (well, any trip to Italy for that matter). When you wake up on the lake that first morning, grab an espresso and just sit and watch as the mist hovering in the valley begin to part as the sun rises higher in the sky, revealing bougainvillea draped trellises and the occasional palm tree, delightfully out of place at the base of the Alps. Sigh.
Are you planning on traveling there and enjoying la dolce vita too? Below I shared my top five tips for planning a perfect trip to Lago di Como.
1. Travel by Boat
Spending at least one day aboard a boat is a must-do here, and it’s the best way to see the sites on the lake in a short period of time. While you can navigate pretty easily by ferry, I recommend hiring a boat with a driver. It's a fantastic way to get your own private tour of the lake while you sit back and relax.
I love the fact that the driver can just pick you up from the dock of your lakefront hotel or villa maximum convenience. The driver will give you the scoop about what royalty owns which villa, where Bruce Springsteen stays, and yes, even point out George Clooney’s house.
2. Dinner with a View
Have as many meals outside as you can overlooking Lario (the locals’ name for the lake). My favorite dinner vista is from the terrace at Il Gatto Nero perched on the mountainside high above the town of Cernobbio along the most southwestern part of the lake.
Make reservations just before sunset so you can watch the towns below begin to slowly sparkle with lights as the skies transition to from daylight to twilight. If not within walking distance of where you are staying, I highly recommend getting a driver so you don’t have to worry about navigating switchback roads after a few glasses of wine.
3. Go Green
While there are some formal gardens you can visit, I prefer to just take in the cascading wisteria and sweet smelling jasmine as they seem to naturally occur along stretching promenades and around the grand villas situated on Lake Como. Each visit I have dinner or drinks at Villa d’ Este so I have an excuse to visit the hotel, where you can walk through the grand stone mosaic walls framing the garden path along the hillside. My other favorites include the acres of gardens at Villa Carlotta the whimsical Villa Balbianello, and the charming promenade in Teresio Olivelli Park in the town of Tremezzo.
4. Get Lost
Step off the ferry, drop a pin on your phone, and just get lost in a maze of streets and cafes.
Exploring the winding paths by foot, you will discover delightful nooks and crannies of the lake. These off the beaten path spots can be great photo opportunities too.
The towns of Moltrosio and Argegno have some great switchback paths and pretty alleyways.
Take time to do nothing at all. Grab a bottle of pino nero, your favorite sunglasses and a comfy chaise lounge to bask for an afternoon in the Italian sunshine as the classic wooden boats parade by. Lake Como is a wonderful place to recharge and reawaken your senses. For ultimate experience, stay at one of the handful of hotels with swimming pools that actually float right on the water.
Follow along with more of Kristy's adventures on her blog Prosecco and Palm Trees or on Instagram.
Traveling to Lake Como this summer? Why not hire us to assist? Travel Italian Style offers custom travel planning for this beautiful region as well as throughout all of Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meet the Author
Kristy is lives in sunny Florida with her husband, 3 dogs and long awaited son Maxwell. When she's not busy chasing Max around the house, you'll find her happily snapping photos, running marathons or planning her next trip to Italy. Kristy loves sharing style and travel tips, as well as her insights on mom life after infertility on her blog Prosecco & Palmtrees.